Western Reserve is on a roll following opening week loss


The Devils have outscored their opponents 262-33 in six-game winning streak

Berlin Center, OHIO (WKBN) – The Western Reserve Blue Devils may have stumbled in their first game of the year, but they are now hitting on all cylinders both offensively and defensively as they head down the final stretch of the 2019 high school football season.  The Devils have reeled off six wins in a row, outscoring their opponents 262 to 33 in their winning streak.

They currently sit at 6-1 on the season, 4-0 in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference and just outside the playoff picture at #9 in Division 6, Region 21 computer points according to Joe Eitel.  But more importantly, they have key games with (6-1, 3-1) Lowellville this Friday at home and then a much-anticipated showdown at undefeated Springfield on October 25th.

“We’re getting better every week,” Blue Devils head coach Andy Hake stated.  “We have a lot of kids and we’re trying to get a lot of them in the games.  We’re playing a lot of kids.  I think we are going to finish really strong, I really do.”

With the 17-15 loss to Southeast in the opening week of the season, the Devils used that loss to motivate them.  To refocus and work harder.

“We’ve been doing this for eleven years here, and you what?  We bounce back.  Our kids bounce back.  That was a tough loss, that was a tough upset, we were upset.  Tough people last, tough times don’t.  We have a great group of kids and we’re excited to play Lowellville and Springfield the following week and then Mineral Ridge,” Hake described the status of his team.

“We have a lot of guys, 34 upperclassmen, they really questioned things after that,” Hake said of the players after the tough opening game loss.  “They got PO’ed and they responded.  That’s it, that’s life.  Sports teaches you life, and we have some real players in that locker room.”

“That first game really hurt us,” Devils senior receiver-defensive back Todd Henning remarked.  “It showed us what we had to do to stay on track.  We have to win them all now.  And this is just propelling us.  We have to stay up at practice and play a big game this weekend and come in more prepared in two weeks against Springfield, a great, great team.”

“It opened our eyes and it made us realize we need to fix a lot of things and we’re fixing them as the season goes on,” senior receiver-linebacker Josh Miller said.  “We have to take it game-by-game and approach every game like it’s our last.”

The Devils offense has scored over 50 points three times this season and they have scored over 40 once, averaging 39.57 points per game, “We have a lot of veteran guys that have played for a long time and they’re clicking right now.  Todd (Henning), Jimmy (Mayberry), Josh Miller, our quarterback (Nick Cavoulas) is getting better and better, than our running backs Austin Nabb, Lucky Kiesewetter and a lot of our receivers are helping out too, Preston Reed, Luke Kilbert, Jacob Moore.  We have a lot of players who are really coming through for us.  I’m just glad it’s a team effort,” Hake said.

“The loss was bad, but in a way, it set the tone for us that we are a beatable team and it just got our team on track and we have the train going now,” Miller explained of the Devils offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Devils have only allowed a  total of 33 points since that opening loss, an average of 5.5 per game during their six-game winning streak.  In fact, Hake rates this Blue Devils defense as being up with one of his best.

“Outstanding!  It’s one of the better defenses that we have had.  It’s getting better and better and better.  We have two seniors who were starters out for the season and the guys have rallied around Cameron Durig and Nate Salovich and they are playing nuts.  I love our defense.  Our defense will keep us in games,” Hake said.

“The team prides itself on hitting, great coverage, and we have to work on tackling, wrapping up and stopping the run,” Miller added.

“Our town is behind it,” Hake said of the Blue Devil team.  “I bet a lot of people wish their towns had that going on because of the energy, the excitement with people really into it.”

“It’s not me and it’s not one player, it’s not one coach.  It’s a movement, and the movement continues,” Hake added.

Western Reserve will look to keep it’s season rolling as they take on Lowellville this Friday night at home.  The game will be featured as the WKBN “Game of the Week” starting at 11:00 PM on WYFX 27.2.

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